JAMES MURRAY & FRANCIS M. GRI – REMOTE REDUX
Remote Redux is Gri and Murray‘s collaboration album and is released in various formats on the Ultimae label: CD + Cards, LP + Cards, CD+LP+Cards, and digital download. (The download comes in glorious full 24bit).
The album inspiration comes from the Japanese concept of Ma, or ‘negative space’.
‘Negative’ should be read without the (negative) connotation of the word: Ma ‘is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.’
“Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these elements.”(wikipedia)
The music is ‘a delicate and original response to distance and closeness – a listening experience that simultaneously explores and distorts our awareness of separation and togetherness.’ This may be read figuratively ánd literally since the music was created from the hometowns of London (Murray) and Milan (Gri).
Gri‘s piano and bowed guitar themes and Murray‘s synth and sound design are different components that merge together as a whole: hints of recognizable melodies together with abstract soundscapes. The result is ‘an unhurried collection of exquisitely crafted minimal, tender and contemplative ambient.’
JAMES MURRAY – EMBRACE STORMS
Embrace Storms is a solo project by James Murray but label-wise it’s a collaboration: the CD version released by Slowcraft Records and the vinyl version by Krysalisound. But for those that want both, there’s also a bundled version, as well as a digital download.
Embrace Storms presents two long (18-20 minute) tracks, two ‘carefully constructed sound collages, twin formations gradually unfolding in continuous, ever-evolving streams of delicately controlled chaos.’ Personally, I don’t really hear chaos, but I dó hear the carefully constructed: “calm music for chaotic times…”
Reading the album title combined with the track titles (In Your Head and In Your Heart), this album seems to reveal an almost therapeutical quality: don’t fight the storms, embrace them: ‘absorb turbulence open-eyed’. It may reveal new insights that can help you move on.
At moments, a steady beat is trying to break through the floating soundscapes: a steady single (rational) beat or (not surprisingly) the double beat of the heart. But the beat never takes over – they are pushed back by the calming waves.
Embrace your storms and you may control them.